By Staff Sgt. Jennifer BunnAugust 29, 2013
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- A Soldier assigned to A Company, 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Rear, received an Army Commendation Medal on Aug. 23 for rescuing a small boy who went out too far into the water at Remington Pond July 28 on Fort Drum.
Spc. Michael Wright, who is assigned to additional duty as a lifeguard at the pond, noticed the boy about 3 years old go under water near the slide that is in the middle of the water and quickly swam out to him and pulled him to safety.
"I guess he was trying to go play on the slide," he said. "A bunch of kids were on it, and I was mainly watching them because they were pretty tired. They weren't swimming as well as when they got in. So I was paying attention to them.
"He went along the right side of me and into the water," Wright continued. "He kept going and going; eventually he just got too far and I saw him go under. That is when I swam out."
Wright caught the boy just as he went under. He got the boy out of the water and took him to his parents on shore.
"He was scared more than anything. I was trying to calm him down," Wright concluded. "I just sat there with him and made sure he was alright."
All lifeguards at the pond are required to take a weeklong certification course at Magrath Sports Complex, where they learn basic first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, how to use a defibrillator, and several rescue techniques.
Regardless of training, a lifeguard must always keep a vigilant eye on everyone on the shore and in the water to be effective. Wright did just that.
"Due to his diligence and his situational awareness, we didn't have a tragedy," said Col. Robert Rudolph, commander of 2nd BCT Rear, who presented the award to Wright.